First reflection on the modeling method in my class

Oct 16, 2011 by     2 Comments    Posted under: Uncategorized

Has it really been over 2 months?!?! Augh. Well, it hasn’t been for lack of things to say, that is for sure. So here is a start.
The first unit, CVPM, went AWSOME!! I cannot express how great it went. I was able to jump into graphing, and miracle of miracles, the kids weren’t scared of it. That is a first. I was able to get into some hairy constant velocity problems very quickly, and the kids went straight to graphing without my prodding, and were able to some some very tricky problems. It was wonderful!! This was all with just the position vs. time graphs.
Then came the introduction of the velocity vs. time graphs. This was a bit trickier, but they caught on quickly, and I was so proud. But an interesting thing happened: the more we refined their skill with the worksheets and practice, the worse they seemed to do. This indicated to me that they had a very tenuous grasp of the material in the first place, and quickly fell back to their preconceptions. So I did a couple of labs and more whiteboard discussions, and worksheets and more discussions. This didn’t help much. There seemed to be the haves and the have nots. Some kids really got it and some did not. There happened to be a strong person in each group who “taught”, or rather, gave the answers to the others in the group. I’m switching groups after this exam to see if this helps.
Over all modeling is going way better than I could have hoped.

2 Comments + Add Comment

  • Cool that you’re trying modeling. :o ) Yeah, modeling was definitely a breath of fresh air to me. At the same time, it introduces new problems (although usually um, “better” problems). I also get the issue of “haves” and “have nots” in my class. I think it might be related to prior knowledge/skills. Those allergic to math pretty much seem to shut down or continue their old ways of what seems to just be guessing or giving knee jerk responses.
    Regardless, I’m glad you’re enjoying the modeling thing so far. :o D

    • Thanks Frank! I am very much enjoying modeling. I doubt that I’ll ever go back to the old way. I get to teach AP -C next year, so it looks like I have my work cut out for me developing the materials I’ll need for that class. :)

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